Many long-standing and traditional organizations in transportation management are reluctant to adapt to digital transformation. This is why innovation and technology are not traditionally associated with the logistics sector. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to rethink their operations and logistics, driving them to pivot and adapt quickly.
The Essence of Digital Transformation in the Transportation Industry
For digital transformation in the transportation industry, certain primary areas need to be considered, including process optimization and automation, people management, network strategies, supplier management, and spend optimization. Some notable instances of optimization are real-time fleet management and predictive maintenance planning.
Similarly, supplier management and spend optimization deal with issues such as advanced spend intelligence, end-to-end sourcing, and category analytics. Supplier management and spend optimization go hand-in-hand with people management, a dimension that works towards establishing the workforce, predictive demand forecasting, automated shifts, and task allocation. Network strategy helps areas that require advanced simulations and data-driven timetabling, allowing transportation management to be handled with immediate effectiveness.
These areas provide a unique perspective of the foundations of digital transformation in the transportation industry. These key pillars include people, processes, technology, and security. It is imperative for all tech leaders in the transportation industry to carefully examine these nuances and adopt a “tech-forward” mindset in terms of execution and delivery. With this mindset, leaders will be able to establish an agile culture that promotes delivery with speed and effective iteration, build differentiating capabilities, ensure employee engagement, and keep a sharp focus on customer satisfaction.
Handling Digital Transformation Domains in the Transportation Industry
The primary essence of digital transformation is people. These people are the employees that drive the success of the company. It is vital to create an inclusive and high-trust culture to achieve digital transformation within the transportation industry. This high level of trust can only be established if the company invests time and effort into fostering an environment that ensures high performance, engages teams, and creates leaders for the future who are keen on improving themselves. Along with time and effort, it is also essential to invest money and resources for continuous employee training so they are agile enough to adapt to the ebb and flow of digital transformation
Digital transformation heavily focuses on development and change processes. Process transformation constantly shifts a business’s mindset from project-oriented to customer-centric. It encompasses the vital elements that allow for continuous product delivery. Innovation becomes critical when processes are involved and should be incorporated into every section of the organization’s framework. Furthermore, a concept of rewarding bold and creative ideas within the company should be established to cultivate an environment that brings inventive ideas to the table. In the end, these processes will bring the product together for the customer.
While people and processes work towards developing an environment for digital transformation, technology is the component that drives change. There should be a strong focus within the organization for establishing a data foundation to generate valuable insights. The platforms used for the business should have the flexibility and ability to connect seamlessly to create an ecosystem that includes supply chain partners and customers. The technical infrastructure should keep up with the dynamically changing digitalization trends while also leveraging cloud and SaaS products to increase market speed. Technology will not only reshape and reconstruct but also thrive under future disruptions that may occur.
Every transportation company should have security embedded within each domain. Addressing concerns such as cyberattacks is imperative for the digitization and the enablement of SaaS and cloud technologies.
While these key components have a definite impact on Digital Transformation, we have also discussed how Digital Transformation also impacts three of these components in some depth here.
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